City of Oneonta, NY
Otsego County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ C-29 Common Council constituted.

[Amended 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
A. 
Constituted. The Mayor and Common Council Members of the City shall constitute the Common Council. There shall be eight Council Members, one elected from each ward of the City.
B. 
Acting Mayor. At the first meeting in each year, the Mayor shall appoint, with the approval of the Common Council, one Common Council Member to serve as Acting Mayor during the absence or disability of the Mayor, and who, if a vacancy occurs in the office of the Mayor, shall serve as Mayor until the office is filled as provided in this Charter.
C. 
Meetings. The Common Council shall hold regular or stated meetings on the first and third Tuesday evenings in each month in the Common Council Chamber, and at such other times as they shall designate by resolution.
D. 
Special meetings. The Mayor, or, in the Mayor's absence, the Acting Mayor, or any three Common Council Members may call special meetings by notice in writing or by electronic means served personally upon the other members of the Common Council, or left at their usual place of residence at least 24 hours before the time of the meeting.
E. 
Presiding officer and procedures. Presiding officer and procedures. They Mayor shall preside at all meetings of the Common Council. The Acting Mayor shall preside in the Mayor's absence. In the proceedings of the Common Council, each member present shall have a vote, except the Mayor, who shall only cast a vote when the votes of the other members are tied. The meetings of the Common Council shall be public except for executive sessions as authorized by the Public Officers Law. The minutes of the proceedings shall be kept by the City Clerk, and the same shall be available at all times for public inspection. A majority of members of the Common Council shall be a quorum for the transaction of business. No tax or assessment shall be ordered except by a concurring vote of a majority of the Common Council. No tax shall be levied, assessment bill ordered, or ordinance take effect until it receives the approval of the Mayor, as provided in this Charter.
F. 
Duties of Common Council Members. It shall be the duty of every Common Council Member, as a representative of his or her respective ward, to:
(1) 
Attend the regular and special meetings of the Common Council.
(2) 
Serve on committees when appointed by the Mayor or Common Council.
(3) 
Report to the Mayor all subordinate officers who are guilty of any official misconduct or neglect of duty.
(4) 
Aid in maintaining peace and good order in the City.
(5) 
Perform or assist in performing all such duties, separately or as a whole, as assigned by this Charter.
G. 
Rules of the Common Council. The Common Council shall determine the rules applicable to its own proceedings, be the judge of the qualifications of its own members, have the power to compel the attendance of absent members from time to time, and prescribe the duties of all the officers and persons appointed by them to any place whatever, as provided for in this Charter.

§ C-30 Appointment of City Manager.

The Common Council shall appoint a person to the office of City Manager.

§ C-31 Legislative powers.

A. 
Role, powers, and duties. The Common Council shall be the legislative and appropriating body of the City. It shall have all the powers and perform all the duties now or in the future conferred by this Charter or imposed by law upon the legislative body of a city.
B. 
Finance and property. The Common Council shall have the control of the finances and property of the City, except as otherwise provided for in this Charter.
C. 
Laws, ordinances, and regulations. The Common Council shall have the power to enact local laws, ordinances, and regulations consistent with the constitution and laws of the state, including but not limited to:
(1) 
The preservation of order, peace, and health, and the safety and welfare of the City and its residents.
(2) 
The benefit of trade and commerce within the City.
(3) 
The protection of the quality of life within the City.
(4) 
The protection of the business and property interests of the residents of the City.
(5) 
The government of the City and the management of its business.

§ C-32 Actions requiring enactment by ordinance or local law.

A. 
The Common Council shall, by ordinance or by local law:
(1) 
Provide for a fine or other penalty or establish a rule or regulation for violation of which a fine or other penalty is imposed.
(2) 
Levy taxes, except as otherwise provided with respect to the property tax levied by adoption of the budget.
(3) 
Grant, renew, or extend a franchise.
(4) 
Regulate the rate charged for its services by the holder of a franchise.
(5) 
[1]Amend or repeal any ordinance or local law previously adopted.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection A(5), regarding the conveyance or lease of property, was repealed 5-16-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017. This local law also provided for the redesignation of former Subsection A(6) as Subsection A(5).
B. 
These actions are in addition to other acts required by law or by specific provision of this Charter.

§ C-33 Procedure for adoption of ordinances by Common Council.

[Amended 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
A. 
Voting procedure. Passage of an ordinance shall require a majority vote of the Common Council. Member names and their votes shall be entered into the record, journal, or minutes of proceedings.
B. 
Style. The style of an ordinance shall be "Be it ordained by the Common Council of the City of Oneonta as follows:"
C. 
Introduction and required time periods. A proposed ordinance may be introduced only by a Member of the Common Council at a meeting of the Common Council or as may be otherwise prescribed by the rules of procedure adopted by the Common Council. No such ordinance shall be passed until it shall have been in its final form and either (a) upon the desks or tables of the Members at least seven calendar days, exclusive of Sunday, prior to its final passage; (b) mailed to each of them in postpaid properly addressed and securely closed envelopes or wrappers in a post box or post office of the United States Postal Service within the City at least 10 calendar days, exclusive of Sunday, prior to its final passage; and (c) it has been set forth in a legible format by electronic means and has been available for review in such format at the desk or other designated location of such Member, in its final form, at least seven calendar days, exclusive of Sunday, prior to its final passage. The procedures and time periods may be waived upon certification by the Mayor as to the necessity for immediate passage of an ordinance and such ordinance is passed by a 2/3 majority vote of the Common Council.
D. 
Public hearing before Mayor. The Mayor shall hold a public hearing before approving or vetoing an ordinance passed by the Common Council. The Mayor shall give notice of hearing within 10 days after being presented with the ordinance and the hearing shall be held within 20 days after such presentation. Public notice of at least five days shall be provided before the public hearing.

§ C-34 Mayoral approval of ordinances and local laws.

[Amended 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
A. 
Veto power. The Mayor shall have the power to veto any local law or ordinance passed by the Common Council except as stated in Article V, pertaining to the budget, or as otherwise provided by state law.
B. 
Approval process. Subject to the limitations set forth in § C-34A:
(1) 
A copy of every local law or ordinance approved by the Common Council shall be separately certified by the City Clerk and presented to the Mayor for review and approval within three business days after passage.
(2) 
In the case of an ordinance, the Mayor may exercise such veto power within 10 days of receipt of a certified copy from the City Clerk. In the case of a local law, the Mayor may exercise such veto power within 30 days following receipt of a certified copy from the City Clerk.
(3) 
If the Mayor approves such local law or ordinance, the Mayor shall sign it and return it to the City Clerk and it shall be deemed adopted and will take effect. If the Mayor vetoes such local law or ordinance, it shall be returned to the City Clerk with the objections stated in writing; the City Clerk shall present the same with the objections stated to the Common Council at its next regular meeting.
(4) 
In the event of a Mayoral veto, the Common Council may override such veto, within 30 days, by a 2/3 vote of the Common Council. Legislation authorizing bond debt shall require a 3/4 vote of the Common Council to override a veto. In the event of an override, the local law or ordinance shall be deemed adopted and will take effect.
(5) 
If any ordinance or local law is not returned by the Mayor to the City Clerk within 10 days after it shall have been presented to the Mayor, or 30 days in the case of a local law, or if such ordinance or local law is returned without the Mayor's approval or disapproval, the same shall be deemed adopted and will take effect.
(6) 
If any ordinance or local law contains more than one specific appropriation or budget item, including specific items in a five-year capital plan, or embraces more than one distinct subject, the Mayor may approve specific appropriations or subjects and disapprove others. The approval or disapproval of the Mayor and review by the Common Council shall be subject to the procedures outlined above.
C. 
Procedures. Local laws shall be enacted pursuant to the procedures set forth in the Municipal Home Rule Law.

§ C-35 Effective date of ordinances and resolutions.

Every ordinance of the Common Council may specify at what time it shall take effect, and if no time be specified, it shall take effect 20 days after it shall have been finally adopted. Resolutions may specify at what time after their final passage as stated above they shall take effect, and if no such time be specified they shall take effect immediately.

§ C-36 Licensing occupations.

If an ordinance of the City prohibits the carrying on of any occupation or business without a license, the Common Council shall fix the fee for such license, prescribe whether or not a bond shall be given by the licensee, prescribe the mode of licensing and the necessary qualifications of the licensee, approve or disapprove the application, and if approved, direct the City Clerk to issue the license.

§ C-37 Violation of ordinances and local laws.

A. 
Penalty. Any ordinance or local law enacted by the Common Council may provide that any person convicted of any violation of the same may be punished by imposition of a fine or by imprisonment, or both.
B. 
Type of violation; civil penalty. Any ordinance or local law enacted by the Common Council may provide that any person violating such ordinance or local law shall be guilty of a violation or of a misdemeanor or shall be liable to pay to the City a sum therein named as a penalty, to be recovered in a civil action. If no provision is made in any ordinance or local law as to the effect of a violation thereof, every violation thereof shall be a violation.
C. 
Injunction relief. The City may maintain an action to restrain by injunction a violation of any ordinance or local law of the Common Council or order of the Health Officer, notwithstanding that such ordinance, local law, or order may provide a penalty for such violation.

§ C-38 Possession, disposition and control of real and personal property.

A. 
Power of Common Council. The Common Council absolutely shall possess, dispose, and control all property of the City, both real and personal, of whatever nature and wherever located, subject only to the management and maintenance by the various boards and commissions granted by this Charter.
B. 
Mayor to execute agreements. All agreements, contracts, deeds, rights-of-way, and other easements of any nature whatsoever relating to said real and personal property shall be made in the name of the City of Oneonta and executed by the Mayor, after majority vote of the Common Council authorizing the same.

§ C-39 Official newspaper.

The Common Council shall, at its first meeting in each fiscal, year, or as soon thereafter as practicable, designate a newspaper published, circulated, printed, or distributed in the City in which all such matters as the Common Council may direct shall be published. The newspaper so designated shall be the official newspaper of the City for the ensuing fiscal year, and until the next annual designation. The affidavit of the publisher or a designee of the publisher shall be filed with the City Clerk to cover each publication, and the same or a certified copy thereof shall be presumptive evidence of the fact of such publication.

§ C-40 Salaries of Council Members.

The salary of each Council Member shall be fixed and determined by the Common Council and be included in and paid from the general City fund.

§ C-41 Approval by Common Council of contracts awarded on public bid.

No contract required to be submitted to public bidding shall be binding upon the City of Oneonta unless and until it has been approved by a majority vote of the Common Council.

§ C-42 Redistricting.

[Amended 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
A. 
Commission appointment. The Common Council shall appoint a Redistricting Commission to evaluate the existing ward boundaries for equity and representation in relation to population within six months after the publication of each federal decennial census. The Redistricting Commission shall include City residents in such proportion as to reasonably reflect the demographic composition of the City, together with such other expert and official representatives as shall be deemed necessary and appropriate.
B. 
Process. The Redistricting Commission shall review the population data and propose a plan to the Common Council in compliance with the Municipal Home Rule Law within six months after the Commission is appointed.
C. 
Guiding rules. The Redistricting Commission shall apply, as nearly as practicable, the "one person, one vote" principle and the Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Sections I and II of the New York State Constitution.

§ C-43 Claims for damages; place of trial of actions; proceedings.

[Amended 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
A. 
Dangerous, defective conditions. No civil action shall be maintained against the City for damages or injury to person or property sustained in consequence of any street, highway, bridge, culvert, sidewalk, crosswalk, or public building being defective, out of repair, unsafe, dangerous, or obstructive unless it appears that written notice of the defective, dangerous, unsafe, or obstructive condition was actually given to the City Clerk, and there was a failure or neglect within a reasonable time after the giving of such notice to remedy, repair, or remove the defect, danger, or obstruction.
B. 
Snow, ice. No civil action shall be maintained against the City for damages or injury to person or property sustained in consequence of the existence of snow or ice upon any sidewalk, crosswalk, or street, unless written notice thereof relating to the particular complaint was actually given to the Mayor or the Common Council, and there was a failure or neglect to cause such snow or ice to be removed, or the place otherwise made reasonably safe, within a reasonable time after the receipt of such notice.
C. 
Other claims; notice requirements, limitations, venue of actions. All claims against the City for damages or injuries to persons or property, or invasion of personal or property rights of every name and nature whatsoever shall be governed by the provisions of Article 4 of the General Municipal Law. The place of trial of all actions or proceedings against the City or its boards or officers shall be in the County of Otsego.
D. 
Compromise of claims. The Common Council shall have the power to pay, compromise, or settle any such claim which may be made against the City for damages, provided such claim is presented within the time and in the manner prescribed in this Charter. The sum or sums so expended shall be included in the amount to be raised by tax for general purposes.